In September 2016, LinkedIn announced a redesign of its desktop (non-app) user interface. The announcement noted, “This is the largest redesign since LinkedIn’s inception.” The design update is expected to bring the desktop experience closer to what users of the LinkedIn mobile app are used to seeing.
More important than how LinkedIn will look once the redesign is rolled out is what features will — or won’t — still be included.
In the past, when LinkedIn has refreshed its user interface, it has removed features. In anticipation that this may happen with the forthcoming redesign, you should consider backing up your LinkedIn profile right now, so you don’t lose any data. This exercise will take you 5-10 minutes at most.
There are two things to do:
The first is to save a PDF of your profile. This will save the content in your profile only (no photos or graphics).
Log into your account and click on “Edit Profile” under the “Profile” menu.
Next, click on the blue “View profile as” button and it will show the drop-down menu.
Choose “Save to PDF” and it will immediately save a PDF of your LinkedIn profile to the default download location on your computer.
You’ll be able to open the PDF and view your content.
The second step is to archive your LinkedIn data.
This will create spreadsheet files (in .csv format) of your LinkedIn account — your connections, contacts, email inbox, positions, and profile. It will also include a “Rich Media” folder with images included on your profile.
In contrast to the PDF of your LinkedIn profile, the spreadsheet files will allow you to copy-and-paste your data into your LinkedIn profile, should you ever need to. In addition, if LinkedIn removes sections with the user interface redesign, you will be able to add this information back into your profile, if you want to.
You can find the full listing of what is included in the data archives:
Accessing Your LinkedIn Account Data
Here’s how to get your data archive.
Note: This feature is only available using the desktop version of LinkedIn, not using the mobile app. Also, because your backup may contain private information, do not download your data using a public computer.
Click on your profile photo in the upper right hand corner of your LinkedIn profile. On the drop-down menu, click on the blue “Manage” button next to “Privacy & Settings.”
Once on the “Privacy & Settings” page, scroll down to “Getting an archive of your data.” Click on that link.
That will open a drop-down menu.
You will be able to choose whether you want a “fast file,” which includes selected information from your account or the “fast file with other data,” which includes account activity and history.
Choose the option you want and click the blue “Request archive” button.
Once you’ve made your choice, you will be prompted to enter your password. Once you’ve done that, click the blue “Done” button.
You will receive confirmation that your request has been received.
You’ll also receive a notification email with a download link.
When you click the download link in your email, you will be taken back to your LinkedIn profile, where you will find a blue “Download” link. You have 72 hours to download the file. LinkedIn will send a second email when the rest of the data file is ready (within 24 hours).
Clicking the “Download” button will create a zip folder. Once you unzip it, you will see the .csv files with your connections, contacts, inbox, positions, profile, and registration information, plus a folder containing your Rich Media.
For your first-level connections, you’ll receive a file that contains First Name, Last Name, Email Address, Current Company, Current Position, and Tags.
If you get an error when trying to request your data archive, try it again using a different Internet browser, or try it again later.
If you use a premium LinkedIn Sales Navigator account, export your notes and tags to Sales Navigator. It is rumored that the notes and tags feature is going away with the user interface update.
Log into your Sales Navigator account. Move your cursor over your photo in the top right corner of the Sales Navigator home page and select “Settings.”
Under “Import LinkedIn.com,” click “Import to Sales Navigator” next to “Notes & Tags.”
Now that you’ve seen how easy this is to do, make it a habit to export your data — once a quarter is probably sufficient if you don’t add a lot of new connections regularly, or once a month if you do.
If you would like a PDF of these instructions with screen shots of what you’ll see as you navigate through the process, feel free to contact me.